The first line extension to the Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whisky range since the ’50s, Maker’s 46 is essentially the standard expression with added spice. This Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whisky was not intended to compete with the core expression, instead it’s a cousin to it, something different for those that like spicy bourbon. They add this extra dimension by inserting seared French oak staves into the barrels (with the stave profile “number 46” – thus the name). It’s utterly stunning.
Finished in the barrel with specially seared oak staves, this Bourbon is a new classic. In the glass, it sports a bright maple color, and lively, spicy aromas and flavors of oaky vanilla and tropical fruit touched with clove, ginger and allspice.
Nose: Toffee sweetness and the saw dust from freshly cut wood. Has a very toasty aroma, with sweet spices and deep, thick caramel.
Palate: Creamy and very soft. Then it opens up, in fact it explodes with spiciness which concentrates on the tip of the tongue. It’s on nutmeg, mulled wine spices, allspice, cinnamon. Also a hint of hot apple juice.
Finish: A natural progression of the palate with the sweet spices and it concentrates on the tongue – this may be one of the few times you’ll notice a concentration of sweetness like this from a bourbon. It also becomes grassy after a minute or so.
Aroma: Pleasant, sweet, toasty oak nose with caramel overtones. More intense aroma without an alcohol nose.
Taste: Rich, creamy seared-oak flavors; caramel and vanilla notes linger on the front of the palate, but it is still soft enough to hold on the tongue even at 94 proof.
The first new Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whisky recipe for at least 50 years, Maker’s 46 is named for the number of different wood ‘recipes’ they tried before getting it right. Bottled at 47% it is matured in part in barrels containing a ‘ladder’ of toasted new French oak barrel staves to give more spice, sweetness and vanilla.